Five local athletes brought home a combined 17 medals from the Utah Summer Games track and field competition, which took place Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29 in Cedar City.
Twelve-year-old Annabelle Garrett brought home five golds, taking first place in every event she entered.
Her winning times were 16.03 in the 100-meters, 30.75 in the 200 meters and 5:43.25 as part of the 4×400-meter relay team. She also won the high jump at 4 feet, 4 inches and the long jump at 13 feet, 3.25 inches.
Seventy-one-year-old Wendy Dickson was the lone competitor in each event she entered in the 70-74-year-old age group, bringing home unopposed golds in four events: the 100-meter dash, discus, javelin and shot put. Dickson is the Utah Summer Games record holder in her age group in each of the four events, beating her own records from last year in the 100-meter dash and discus. She fell short of her records from last year in the javelin and shot put.
Andy Pitas, at age 70, took second in his age group in the 100-meter dash and the long jump, running a 16.31 and jumping 8 feet, 11.25 inches.
Brothers Corbin and Chance Arbon brought home six medals between them. Ten-year-old Chance Arbon won the long jump and 4×400 meters. He placed second in the 100-meters and 200-meters. Twelve-year-old Corbin Arbon, in perhaps the most competitive age group of the Utah Summer Games, was on the winning 4×400 meter team and placed second in the 200-meters. He narrowly missed out on two more medals, placing fifth in the long jump and fourth in the 100-meters, running a 14.55; five hundredths of a second behind the third-place time of 14.50.
Janel Arbon said she was proud of her sons, who both recorded personal records in each of their events.
“Both of them ran their hearts out,” she said. “They really had a lot of fun.”
Chance and Corbin Arbon both said the other competitors were fun to be around. The younger Chance Arbon doesn’t have any track-and-field goals to this point, but Corbin Arbon said he wants to try to beat Gordon Garrett’s 2A state record of 21.59 in the 200-meters.
Janel Arbon said her sons both benefited greatly from the tutelage of former high school track and field coach Stacey Garrett, who is also both Gordon and Annabelle Garrett’s mother.
Stacey Garrett coached daughter Annabella and the Arbon boys for a month leading up to competition.
She said competing at the USGs is a family tradition as they’ve competed 14 of the last 16 years.
“Annabelle, Chance and Corbin are all friends,” she said. “They had a lot of fun going together, training together and just being at the meet together.”
Stacey Garrett said anyone who likes track and field would enjoy participating in the USGs and Janel Arbon praised the Utah Summer Games as a whole of being an “awesome program.”
“There’s something for everyone if you want to look for it,” she said. “There’s swimming, karate, archery. If you want to compete, they’ve got an event for you.”
As for local track-and-field competitors, there aren’t many chances to compete before high school outside of the Utah Summer Games.
Stacey Garrett said because of Moab’s location, that probably won’t change any time soon.
“I don’t see parks and rec doing anything with track and field, mainly because of all the travel,” she said. “With all the events being so far away in places like Salt Lake City, it’s just not real feasible.”
Janel Arbon said she plans to enter her sons in other competitions.
“I know Stacey is taking Annabelle to some USA Track and Field events,” she said. “I think we’ll do that as well next year.”
The Utah Summer Games concluded with the archery event and the closing ceremonies on Sunday, June 30.
Both of them ran their hearts out. They really had a lot of fun.”